The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is searching for a company to help expand online and mobile sports betting in the Canadian province, the National Post has reported.
The expansion, which is largely focused on sports betting, will allow people to place live bets during games, something currently unavailable through OLG. It also opens the door for the likes of esports and novelty betting, and expects to select a company at some point in 2018.
The expansion will see Ontario join four other Canadian jurisdictions which currently have online sports, eSports and novelty betting – Atlantic Canada, British Columbia, Quebec and Manitoba.
Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said the government supports OLG’s online expansion but warned that it must continue to prioritise responsible gaming.
He said: “We’ve been looking at the modernisation strategy, we’re looking at expanding and protecting consumer activity. The situation is that a lot of online [gambling] activity occurs that is unregulated and many people are exposed, especially young kids.
“In my capacity I have a duty of social responsibility here. I also have to ensure that we re-invest in things that will help people with addiction.”
OLG spokesman Tony Bitonti added: “OLG sports offering will include new products that will provide more betting options on a wider variety of events, including all major North American sports leagues and major international sports.”
He noted that the online expansion coincides with OLG’s plan to replace and update retail lottery terminals across the province.